Motorcyclist deaths on the rise in Texas
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Motorcyclist deaths on the rise in Texas

Look twice for motorcycles during National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

AUSTIN – When you see a motorcycle on the road, it’s not just a bike – it carries someone’s best friend, someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s spouse. Nearly 600 people riding motorcycles were killed in crashes in Texas last year, and more than 2,400 riders were seriously injured.

One of those hurt was Al Peterson, a Leander man who almost died last May when another driver turned left in front of him. Peterson was thrown 20 yards from his motorcycle and fractured several ribs, his left leg, pelvis, and suffered severe internal injuries. The crash nearly took him away from his wife and three children.

Motorcycles are smaller and harder to spot, which is why taking an extra moment to double check for them can mean the difference between life and death. The number of motorcyclists killed in 2023 increased by 7% from the year before, and intersection fatal crashes increased by 21%. Drivers can help stop this rising trend by always looking twice for motorcycles, because there’s a life riding on it.

“It can be hard to judge the distance, size and speed of a motorcycle, which is why we need to pay extra attention when sharing the road,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “We want everyone to get home safe, and that means drivers should be on the lookout for motorcycles and give them adequate space, especially when turning.”

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Our Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles safety campaign strives to protect motorcyclists and to remind all drivers of safe driving habits.

To help prevent crashes:

  • Check yourself. Always remind yourself to keep an eye out for any motorcycles nearby. This will help your eyes and brain notice motorcycles on the road.
  • Look twice. Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Turning left? Avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle. It can be hard to judge their speed and distance, so let them pass first and always use your turn signal to alert them.
  • Pay special attention at intersections. More than a third of all motorcycle fatalities happen at roadway intersections.
  • Make some space. Keep a safe following distance. Motorcyclists can reduce their speed by downshifting, which doesn’t activate the brake light. Treat motorcycles like cars by giving them a full lane when driving or passing.
  • Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive according to conditions.
  • Stay alert. Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction can have deadly consequences.

To help drivers fully understand how easy it is to lose sight of a motorcycle and the dangers motorcyclists face, TxDOT is taking its Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign exhibit on the road. The exhibit will feature a virtual reality component that gives participants the opportunity to experience from a driver’s perspective how difficult it is to spot motorcyclists in high-risk traffic situations and what close calls and dangerous situations look like from a motorcyclist’s perspective.

TxDOT’s Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at or 512-463-8700.

The information presented represents reportable data collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). It was received and processed by the department as of April 4, 2024.

Media contact
Media Relations
May 01, 2024